The first day of practice came and went without any sight of tight Jeremy Shockey, the first-round pick who remained unsigned. "I'm concerned now,'' Fassel said. “I don't like anybody to miss practice.''
The holdup was due in large part to the fact that few first-round picks were signed, making it difficult for Shockey's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to evaluate the market.
Receiver Tim Carter, the second-round pick, signed his contract this morning and did not miss any practice time. He impressed right away, making a fine catch of a floater thrown by Jason Garrett.
Here's a practice lowlight: Five fumbled snaps – a glaring problem last season – disturbed Fassel in an ugly offensive showing in the afternoon. "That's inexcusable,'' Fassel said.
Defensive Coordinator Johnnie Lynn had some fairly strong comments about Dhani Jones, who replaces Jessie Armstead as the starting weakside linebacker. "As far as athleticism, he probably has a step on Jessie,'' Lynn said. "The know-how allowed Jessie to play faster, but Dhani is going to be a great player for us.''
This had to happen, didn't it? The first fight of camp involved Frank Ferrara, the frisky and always-aggressive defensive end. And it came as no surprise that the first fight also involved Jeff Hatch, the feisty rookie offensive tackle. Ferrara ripped the helmet off Hatch and then continued the action. "When a guy's helmet comes off, don't try to kick him in the head,'' said Fassel, who removed Ferrara from practice to cool him down.
A few Giants coming off injuries are taking it easy. Center Dusty Zeigler, coming off knee surgery, has not yet been cleared to run, and he does not enjoy the view from the sideline. It's the first major injury of his career, and has not yet been cleared to run. CB Jason Sehorn, also coming off knee surgery, practiced on a limited basis in the morning but not at all in the afternoon.